What is web design? Often people think of web design only in terms of aesthetics - what you see on the page: the colors, layout, typography. But web design is so much more. Good web designers think through many factors to help ensure the end user’s experience is the best it can be. Everything from the visual elements to how content is organized and presented to the functionality and responsiveness of your site. We have found there are ways web design affects user experience when they are on your website. We have a checklist you can download, but continue reading to read our list.
Let’s look at 5 ways web design affects user experience!
1) Captures Your Audience’s Attention
Oftentimes you have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention. A good visual presentation has the ability to keep a visitor on your website for longer, in hopes that they will discover and become interested in your message or product. Since we are so inundated with information in our world, people are more selective with what they give their time and attention to. This is why it’s important to capture your audience’s curiosity with a clean presentation and visual wow-factor.
Some things to keep in mind to draw your audience in:
- Use bright, relevant image-driven banners
- Good typography pairing creates visual interest
- Subtle animation effects can draw attention to the right things (calls to action, for instance) and enhance your website, when appropriate
- Good use of color and white space breaks up content and creates visual interest
- Using cohesive design elements throughout your site like textures, patterns, shapes, icons and color, make your site feel like a well thought-through, unified piece
2) Breaks Up Content, Guides The Reader’s Eye
When a user visits a website that presents them with a lot of information that is not well organized, they will almost always leave the site quickly. Good design helps break up content as well as establish a visual hierarchy. You want information to be easily digestible and the most important information to be highlighted on the page.
Good design elements can include:
- Giving your headings a visual hierarchy through size, font-weight, color, etc.
- Choosing an appropriate size and readable typeface for your body text
- Illustrating and breaking up content with descriptive imagery, icons, or important quotes
- Utilizing white space well (which allows your content to breath)
- Use sidebars to highlight or summarize important information from your copy
3) Creates A Professional Presentation
Good design gives a professional and polished presentation to your audience, prospective buyers and clients. This is important as it helps establish you as a legitimate company or service in your given industry and sets you apart from the crowd. Think of several websites that you’ve looked at in the past month. You almost immediately know the companies who have hired a professional web design agency as opposed to the ones that haven’t. This can help build a trust and healthy respect in your consumers, as they know you will not spare any expense in providing them with the best service possible.
4) Increases Functionality
In addition to a good presentation, good design also includes functionality. Responsive web design is a way of designing that keeps in mind how your website looks on different screen sizes. Good designers will make sure that your website looks the same on all devices and that the user’s experience is strong no matter what device they view your site on.
5) Helps build trust and an emotional connection with the brand
A clean visual presentation with cohesive design elements, logical content flow and fully functional responsiveness helps build a trust in your company brand or product. They have come to find that you are reliable, know what you’re doing and know how to present your information in a clear, logical way. There can also be an emotional connection with the brand that is effected in your user. Designers purposefully choose certain imagery, colors, and shapes in logos and branding materials that have symbolism or emotional appeal.
Summing up, layout, functionality, calls to action, readability, responsiveness, and other design considerations help to effect a good user experience. Above everything, you want your prospective consumers to go away having a good feeling and interaction with your product or brand through your website. Sometimes it is the only connection they will have with you.